Sunday, April 19, 2009

Don't you feel safer?

That'll show those terrorists: zero tolerance in matters of toilet compliance.

Maybe a few years of cooling his heels in a federal penitentiary will teach this felon (and his colon) a thing or two about America, and how we don't take any you-know-what from anyone.

What would we ever do without our brave men and women of the TSA and the remarkably intelligent bureaucracy that "keeps America free"?


Ewe said...

Once while we were waiting for security check, an elderly Roman Catholic priest was being checked over completely. I felt sorry for him because he wasn't very steady on his feet. On the return flight while we were waiting again, I was talking to some fellow travelers about the event on the way there. Another traveler came over and told me to stop talking about this event because he was afraid it would delay us some more. I know anyone could dress like that, but this man was elderly and didn't deserve such a hard time going through security.

Mike Baker said...

It's annoying and everyone is a technical expert in the areas of counter terrorism, war, and national security.

...but the results speak for themselves.

Maybe people would prefer it if they relaxed U.S. security to the Jamaican standard?

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Mike:

Using your rationale, nobody could ever question anyone in government for any reason: pro-abortion judges, Panamanian dictators, congressmen pushing nationalized health care, the Federal Reserve, Japanese prison guards who water-boarded American POWs, Border guards who beat a pastor to a pulp with no probable cause, tyrannical kings who quartered troops in American homes, mayors who take junkets paid for by contractors who do business with the city, police who taze pregnant women, Zimbabwean dictators who create hyperinflation, etc.

Every abuser of government power plays the "security" card. The "experts" always claim to "know best" and that we (remember us? "We The People"?)
need to just sit down and shut up.

Meanwhile, every time I drive to Home Depot, there are dozens of illegals standing around who could possibly be rapists, murderers, or whatever - all the while ICE is told to look the other way. These people are responsible for a lot of crime, lots of "hit and run" type incidents. My old neighborhood had Latin Kings graffiti scrawled on apartment building, and we were afraid to walk around at night. But of course, the feds assure us they know best, and we ought not worry our pretty little heads over things like "national security" policy.

Janet Napolitano seems to think a large number of LCMS members are terror suspects. She even thinks the 9-11 terrorists entered the US via Canada! But she and Obama are the "technical expert(s) in the areas of counter terrorism, war, and national security."

I ask again: "Don't you feel safer?"

I'm sorry, but patriotism doesn't mean writing the state a blank check - it means being diligent and involved. It means taking the first amendment (not to mention numbers 2 through 10) out for a ride once in a while - instead of just putting blind faith in government.

I realize that you (as a soldier under the UCMJ) aren't allowed to be as critical as I am of the government. You aren't permitted to say the same things about Obama that I am, for example. But that doesn't mean soldiers are required to simply believe that everything anyone in government does is right, to presume that whatever policy is enacted is best (or even legal) just because they are the "technical experts."

If you think denying people the use of toilets and patting down little old ladies and looking at naked pictures of children going through a scanner makes America safe, you have more faith than I do. There were all kinds of gun laws the Columbine shooters broke - but those gun laws enacted by "experts" didn't protect anyone, and in fact, may have made those teachers and students less safe.

Besides, even with our less "relaxed" more aggressive security standards in the U.S., 9-11 happened here, not in Kingston. Indeed, the "results speak for themselves." Maybe there's a lesson there?

I recommend that every American read Chalmers Johnson's book "Blowback" that was published just a few months before 9-11 happened. It is prescient reading.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Ewe:

Isn't it sad when Americans feel intimidated by government officials to the point of being afraid to talk in a critical way about government officials? My goodness, what are we becoming? This isn't the America I grew up in, the one whose constitution I took an oath to uphold, the one whose Marines my dad served, the one that my grandfather was a POW in Germany for, the one my ancestors froze at Valley Forge with Washington to secure American liberty for.

Now, we're expected to watch elderly people being harassed and just shut up and keep eyes forward lest something bad happen to us.

This is sick. Just plain sick.

I think there is a backlash coming.

Agape said...

Father? Holywood? (is ther a joke there somewhere?) Pastor as fellow Lutheran may I suggest your blog be a little more like our Savior's blog (the bible). Rend to Caesars what is Caesar's (i.e.steer clear of politcal arguements that may cause offense) Feed my Sheep (i.e. keeping this blog is keeping you from yours & His real work)

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Agape:

Yep, Fr. Hollywood is a joke, the kind of nickname a pastor gets working part time at a video store to pay for health insurance (which happened to me at a previous call).

I do appreciate your concerns, and there certainly is the issue of not wanting to cause offense. I would, for example, never tell anyone how to vote, what party to support, or accuse someone of sinning for disagreeing with me.

But on the other hand, Caesar's kingdom is God's kingdom as well. The Church is not obliged to take an oath of silence in the face of when Caesar is sinning. In fact, the opposite is true.

Of course, John the Baptist was arrested for that very thing (and in a very real way, so was our Blessed Lord, though the charges against Him were indeed trumped up). Politicians do not get a free pass to do anything they want to while pastors don't say a word for fear of offending someone. This is a very real danger of "political correctness."

Rev. Dietrich Bonhoeffer actively opposed the Nazis in Germany, for example. And I do think he did the right thing over and against those who tried to maintain neutrality no matter what.

We have our own holocaust in this country, some 40 million children having been legally executed with the federal government's blessing. This is more than six times the number of Jews murdered by Hitler - and there is no end in sight. The current President has embraced this barbaric practice and committed to expand its legal reach even to include tax dollars paying for it. I think the Church ought to speak out against this - even though doing so certainly causes offense. I don't believe neutrality is possible in this matter.

Similarly, I think the Church needs to be willing to weigh in on matters like government sanctioned torture, addressing the notion of just war, and opposing government dishonesty and corruption.

One such corruption is the Federal Reserve, through which money itself becomes the very "dishonest scales" condemned by Proverbs 11:1, which people are compelled by "legal tender laws" to accept on par with gold - all contrary to the law of the land (the Constitution). People are suffering and being legally plundered through this evil (but legal) practice of thievery.

Most of the time, Candidate A vs. Candidate B; Party C vs. Party D; Issue E vs. Issue F are all pretty much a wash. And on most political issues, there isn't an underlying ethical or moral issue. And in such cases, I agree. The clergy ought to steer clear.

But when there is a matter of morality to be addressed, I think we ought to be willing to weigh in.

I would also point out that this is a blog - my own personal blog. Pastors have opinions on many things just like anyone else. No blog is infallible. Only God's Word - which certainly isn't a blog - is infallible. But, the fact that we aren't infallible should not turn us into cowards unwilling to stand up on our hind legs and defend the unborn or condemn abusing government action.

I do post my sermons on my blog for convenience's sake - but blogs and sermons serve two different purposes. What would be appropriate in a blog may not be appropriate for a sermon.

But if you REALLY want to see division, get a few Southerners from different states to argue about who has the best barbecue. Oh my goodness! Church bodies are capable of being split wide open over such issues. That, and college football. ;-)

As far as blogs go, I think they serve a useful purpose. The people can have their say, and discussion can happen - all apart from government apparatchiks and professional gatekeepers. I'd love to see everybody in the world have a blog. That would be a wonderful barometer of freedom of opinion on every nation. It is only in places like Communist China and and extremist Muslim states where the expression of opinions is discouraged or outright gagged.

Free speech can indeed cause some hard feelings. But people need to grow up and get over that. Freedom and human dignity flourish where free speech flourishes. And the Gospel is most free to be preached in those places where bloggers feel free to express themselves.

Of course, that means you might read something you disagree with. And the same can (and should) be said of sermons. Unless a pastor is going to be a "soothsayer" and tell people "what their itching ears" desire, he is going to anger people. That's just how it is.

If you are a Lutheran, I hope your pastor has "chapped your hide" at some point. If that never happens, he isn't doing his job.

Thanks for your thoughts. I do appreciate them. And I think they have a lot of merit - just not universally.

Mike Baker said...

Fr Hollywood,

I beg to differ with your asumption about where I am coming from. There is a huge difference between giving someone a pass on the one hand and admitting that not everyone is an expert at everyone else's vocation on the other. It's not about trust. It is about knowing your own limitations as a voter who is not in the security community.

It is easy for a layman to bash security measures and tactical operations because the people who are being attacked are usually not allowed to correct you because of their oaths and security clearances requirements.

It goes further than that. Many times experts in the field perpetuate public misunderstandings in security and false assumptions about what should be done because it suits the needs of the American people.

It is impossible for people without security clearances to make sound judgements in these areas... most of the puzzle pieces are missing and the rest are carefully controlled through information warfare.

I am not a idealogue. I am a realist. I prefer to deal in the real world with real first hand information.

The American People do not get first hand information. Instead they are trying to formulate opinions about national defense which are based solely on the public record which is intentionally flooded with misinformation, misdirection, and gaps in the truth. It is impossible for the common Amercian to make good judgements about national security decisions for the same reason why he doesn't know missle launch codes or where we house the Vice President in times of emergency.

We will not survive in a political system where individual tactical decisions on the ground and sensitive operational procedures are publically known and micro-managed by the electorate.

This is why we live in a representative republic and not a democracy.

Agape said...

I don't sense much christ-like humility in you sir, I sense an ego that is more concerned about what is right or wrong than proclaiming truth of the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ, I'm one of little words so Im not going to openly debate this...Love thy neighbor as thyself is the selfless attitude of all christians, I don't see it in your blog, I hope its a little more evident in your ministry than here...God Bless You

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Mike:

I understand that you see things differently, and I appreciate your point of view (I used to be part of the "security community" myself). Over the years, I have changed my mind about these matters.

We live in a Constitutional republic - at least theoretically - governed by laws, not by men. We don't live in a fascist dictatorship (at least theoretically).

The tenth amendment protects the states from federal intrusion - but the feds assure the states that they, the experts, know best - which is why we have unconstitutional entities like the Dept. of Education lording over the states.

The Constitution stipulates that gold and silver constitute money - but the feds assure us that they can centrally plan a massive economy, and those restrictions only impede them - so this is why we have a Federal Reserve stealing from us and creating boom/bust cycles - all the while the "experts" tell us that We the People are not the "experts." We need to let the "economics community" ply their "vocation" and just trust them.

The second amendment guarantees our individual right to keep and bear arms - but once again, the "security community" assures us that not only are we safer without such a right, they can even twist the words around to make the Constitution say what it doesn't say. But then again, I'm not a lawyer nor a member of the "security community," and we aren't a direct democracy, so I should just turn on the game, drink a beer, and only open my pie hole to stuff it with chips, I suppose.

Nation-building foreign policy for the past century has exposed our country to blowback, making us unsafe, making us targets for terrorists. But then again, studying the history of American foreign policy and expressing opinions on such matters is like trying to guess missile codes, so once again, I should just get back to the LSU game and let the "security community" handle it.

You are correct that the electorate should not micromanage the government. Rather, the way things work in a republic is that there is a Constitution that government is bound to follow, to stay within those lines, such as the second amendment, fourth amendment, the fifth amendment, the sixth amendment, tenth amendment, the enumeration of powers to the federal government, the enumeration of powers to each branch, not to mention standing by international treaties of which we are signatories.

As it stands now, if government (especially the federal government) or any department within that government, doesn't like the restrictions the Constitution places upon them, they find circumlocutions, legal prestidigitation, and outright mendacity - all enabled by ignorance, apathy, and an attitude that the nanny state knows best, and ought not be limited by law.

That's a formula for fascism.

Every government (and nearly every department of every government) seeks greater and greater power (which is why we have a Constitution to begin with). And every fascist state makes the argument that it is in the interest of people.

According to the man who held both the highest military and civilian ranks in the United States government: "Government is not reason; it is not eloquence; it is force! It is a dangerous servant and a terrible master."

But then again, if you say things like that today, Janet Napolitano will call you a terrorist and people (realists?) will tell you to get back to the football game and just let the experts handle the government without interference from those annoying citizens and that stupid Constitution that we have to work around in order to get things done.

The funny thing is, I don't feel safer. I felt safer when there was more respect for the Constitution.

I agree with President Washington, and find the "security community" unchained by the Constitution to be a "terrible master." Such unleashing is an invitation to the worst elements of original sin, and instead of protecting us from terrorists from the outside invites terrorism right up to our doors.

You're free to disagree, but this is my blog, this is my opinion, and, for the time being, I'm still being allowed to express that opinion. And I do expect there to be a time when I will not be permitted to do so, and when that time comes, I hope you will have changed your mind about putting such faith in the "security community."

If we could have such faith in them, we wouldn't need to bind them down with a Constitution. I hope you'll think about that.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Agape:

Thanks for your kind and thoughtful criticism and advice! I always appreciate help from those like yourself who have achieved Christlike humility. There are very few like you in this world, and we need you to help the rest of us. God bless you too!

Mike Baker said...

Fr. Hollywood,

You and I agree on more than you might think. While I am over here in Iraq, I carry a copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence here in my shirt pocket. You are right to be concerned about a government that does not remain within the bounds of the Constitution.

...but none of that was framed in the original post which is why I commented as I did. You are right: The electorate should be holding their representatives to the constitution and ethical behavior. They cannot do this if they allow themselves to be distracted by non-issues and pet peeves. I fail to see how a diligant, universally applied screening process at an airport is the same as facism.

The far greater monster right now is mass-media. This is the one thing from facism that is easily recognizable in the United States.

We no longer have informative broadcasting that allows individuals to make informed decisions. What we have are propgandists from all kinds of partisan ideologies that do nothing but tell people how to think and what to do. George Washington spoke against that probelm as well.

The political parties are so intrenched in mass communication systems that it is impossible to recieve anything that resembles umbiased reporting. Rather than pointing out real issues, they get everyone riled up by blowing things out of proportion and pointing at matters that suit their own interests or beliefs.

They blind the public with outrage and fear. A public that is angry and afraid will make bad decisions every time. Rest assured: we will hand ourselves over to tyrants at the behest of the "patriots" who are telling us how to think.